If you’re in the trucking business, you know exactly how important fuel savings are. With such a significant amount of your budget devoted to fuel, even small adjustments can add up to major savings over time. If you’ve been looking for ways to cut down on your fuel costs, consider the following tips.
Fuel Saving Tip #1: Don’t overfill the tank
This one almost sounds counterintuitive; isn’t it more cost-effective to fit as much furl into a single tank as possible? However, if a tank is filled to the brim it can easily expand and overflow when the fuel is heated. Not only do you lose fuel when the tank overflows, but this overflow can be dangerous to you and other drivers on the road.
Fuel Saving Tip #2: Stay on top of checkups and maintenance
Everyone knows it’s important to take care of their vehicles, but it’s easy to let maintenance deadlines slip a little. But by staying on top of even minor repairs, you’ll get better mileage and more savings on fuel. Leaks, low tire pressure, and bad drive alignments can all cause your truck to burn more fuel than necessary. By getting them checked out as soon as possible, you’ll save money now and in the future!
Fuel Saving Tip #3: Take it slow
It’s tempting to move fast on long stretches of highway, but doing so can hurt your wallet more than you’d expect. For every 5 mph speed increase over a flat speed of 65 mph, you’ll experience a 7% decrease in fuel economy. By driving a little slower, you’ll save money on fuel and avoid any unexpected speeding tickets at the same time.
Fuel Saving Tip #4: Even out your weight
If the weight in your truck isn’t evenly distributed, it will take your truck a little extra effort—and fuel—to haul it, particularly when you’re starting or stopping your vehicle. This is especially relevant when it comes to load height. Whenever possible, make your load height low and even. It’ll cost your truck less!
Fuel Saving Tip #5: Know the traffic
Looking ahead on your route to figure out the traffic conditions can do more than just help you avoid jams. When you have a good idea of what the traffic will be like in advance, you’ll know what speed you should be able to maintain, and where you’ll need to slow down or stop. Knowing all this in advance can help eliminate unnecessary stops and speed changes, which means more fuel saved.
Fuel Saving Tip #6: Improve your aerodynamics
Heavy vehicles burn more fuel than their lighter counterparts, in large part due to wind resistance. In fact, some studies have found that up to 50% of a truck’s fuel is burned just overcoming natural drag at highway speeds. By doing what you can to make your truck more streamlined, you can counter some of those negative effects. Using a few simple additions like a roof-mounted cab deflector, side fairings, or a deep angled bumper can go a long way towards streamlining your vehicle and improving your gas mileage.
Fuel Saving Tip #7: Avoid idling
It’s common to idle your truck while running a quick errand, or even just to keep the temperature of the cab steady. If you’re going to be idling for more than five minutes, though, it’s better to turn your engine off altogether. An hour of idling burns a gallon of fuel, and all those quick errands with the engine running can add up quickly! Take the time to turn off the engine when you get out of the truck, and you may find your fuel costs dropping.
Fuel Saving Tip #8: Remember your momentum
Braking and accelerating both lead to increased fuel consumption, so wherever possible, keep your momentum in mind. Rather than pressing heavily on the brakes and the fuel when approaching a hill or a traffic light, keep your momentum in mind in advance and you’ll be able to slow down and come to a full stop more naturally. A gradual decline in speed will burn less fuel than an abrupt one.
Fuel Saving Tip #9: Use the right fuel
The right fuel will make a difference to any vehicle. Using the recommended grade of motor oil, for example, can improve your fuel mileage by 1% – 2%. This might not sound like much at face value, but it adds up quickly. Premium grades of fuel will also often last longer than their counterparts. Using techniques like pumping at a lower setting or never letting your tank get too close to empty can also help make your fuel last.
At Provident, we understand that fuel is a HUGE expense. That is why we partner with TCS Fuel Card to offer the best deals to our factoring partners. Click here to find the latest tips for choosing the best fuel card for your company.
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